“…and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:2
Traditionally during the Christmas holidays we celebrate the birth of Christ wishing glad tidings and good will to all mankind. Considering all that Christ has done for us, we should be filled with gratitude at Christmastime.
America cannot continue down the path it has been plummeting for many years. This year we are witnessing divisions in the nation, but also in the church. In 2016, I said to the Lord, “I don’t know who to vote for in this coming election”. In the midst of the debates and outrageous behavior, I heard the Spirit say “he is a rabble rouser” referring to President Trump. He then said, “I can change the heart of a person at will’. We are called to pray for all of our governmental leaders and all in authority, should be doing so. (1 Timothy 2:2)
I looked up the word rabble rouser which means “a person who speaks with the intention of inflaming the emotions of a crowd of people, typically for political reasons.” True to form, he is able to stir up the masses whether for him or against him revealing fear and issues of the heart that have been long hidden. This can be a positive or negative thing. I believe God is bringing this to the surface for a reason. To truly be “one nation under God” we must learn to walk in a spirit of humility and unity”.
Oftentimes we may not know the mess that is hidden in the recesses of our hearts until someone or something comes along and stirs up the hornets nest causing a controversy. “Who can discern his own errors? Cleanse me from my hidden faults.” (Psalm 19:12) Everything flows from the heart. Our beliefs, our decisions, our behaviors. In Proverbs, we are instructed to “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23
What is the Lord revealing to this nation through all of the clamoring (uproar) and daily chaos? “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
Perhaps just as David we need to cry out to God “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)
The Bible says to, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling (clamor) and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31 Verse 32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
We are to follow Christ’s example walking in the way of love “just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
As Christians, we are to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,” during this time of chaos, divisiveness and disruption. (Ephesians 5:15) How we treat one another will be of utmost importance this coming new year. Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-48, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Love is an action word. It requires effort on our part if we are to love like Jesus. There is a greater reward in choosing to display love even we don’t agree with one another. In the midst of so much divisiveness, let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth during this new season, but only what is helpful for building up those in need and bringing grace to those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” (Colossians 3:14)
This holiday season let’s put aside our differences following Christ’s example by walking in the way of love in 2020 and beyond!